Partner Connect 2022 brought together a number of industry experts to discuss best practices for digitizing, automating, and optimizing service operations. Zuper’s partners facilitated a full day of presentations from different fields highlighting innovations in field service management and capturing how the Zuper platform enables FSM businesses to streamline operations and scale.
In this keynote speech, Anand Subbaraj discusses how Zuper helps field service companies address their pain points and transform their operations. The talk includes a number of case studies, statistics, and insights about the future of field service management.
Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Zuper, Anand Subbaraj is a seasoned entrepreneur and product leader empowering service organizations around the world to transform customer experience with intelligent field service management and customer engagement.
Michael Israel, Head of Field Service Evangelism at Zuper, has worked in various aspects of field service and field service software, including managing service teams, service financial planning, and field service software design, marketing, sales, and implementation.
What is VUCA and how does it relate to digital transformation?
VUCA is an acronym that stands for volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity and aptly represents the current business environment. Recent challenges have included COVID, one of the biggest crisis mankind has ever encountered, inflation, supply chain issues, the war in Ukraine, and a possible recession. Essentially businesses are going through a significant transition and business leaders are tasked with providing clarity and composure in the face of it.
Digital transformation is the deflationary force in this inflationary economy, the only way for organizations to navigate the VUCA business environment. Digital transformation will differentiate organizations that are going to prosper from organizations that will be left behind.
Every industry is going to go through this digital transformation: improving efficiencies, providing the best customer experiences, and doing more with less. The community of field service leaders is going to help our customers take this journey.
How is customer service a brand differentiator?
Customer service and expectations have evolved. We live in a world where customers expect a seamless end-to-end experience, whether they are dealing with ride-hailing or lawn servicing. Business leaders are recognizing that customer service is a brand differentiator.
In a recent Microsoft survey, 58% of participants stated that they were going to cut ties with a brand due to poor customer service. A lot of us go through a significant amount of pain because we don't get the right customer experience from organizations we are dealing with day in and day out. 90% percent of survey participants also said that customer service is synonymous with the brand.
What are service organizations’ pain points, and how does field service management help?
Service organizations are experiencing a lot of challenges in the VUCA environment. They have to deal with customer acquisition in a competitive environment, brand consistency, optimizing labor, and keeping costs down. These businesses must also address the need for digitization for a superior customer experience.
It is our responsibility collectively to ensure that these organizations have what they need to offer that amazing experience to customers. In field service, this means optimizing resources either en route or when operating at customer locations out of a physical business address. Optimizing field service enables them to manage resources, improve productivity and offer the kind of exceptional experience that improves customer loyalty.
Field service management transforms businesses by allowing them to streamline processes end-to-end, manage complex projects, ensure safety compliance, and enhance customer experiences with CRM integration. It also improves collaboration across teams, empowers field technicians, and increases field operations efficiency.
Why is Zuper the ideal platform for transforming organizations?
The Zuper team is building the number one field service management platform for fast-growing companies, something validated by industry-leading channels like G2 and Capterra. We have been the leader in G2 for mid-market field service management and have received badges for easiest to use, high performer, easiest admin, and best usability. Our customers love us.
Zuper means, extremely super and Zuper’s mission is to empower every field service professional with technology to be the best in their area of expertise and to turn them into "Zuper Professionals” and enable organizations to provide “Zuper Experiences” to their customers. Our vision is to build the world's most powerful and capable field service management solution. We will accomplish this by building the most flexible and customizable platform for field service management and tapping the vibrant community of service leaders.
What are Zuper’s unique benefits?
Zuper is an end-to-end suite of capabilities that helps organizations manage all aspects of their service businesses. It is an intelligent work order management system for scheduling, dispatching, location intelligence, invoice estimation, asset management, contract management, payments, and mobile application.
These capabilities ensure that organizations can dispatch the right person to the right place with the right knowledge at the right time every time. They also ensure that they are delighting their customers in every interaction.
Our tagline is “field service management your way.” We’ve seen businesses that have built expertise and processes over time deploy a digital platform that attempts to change the way they operate. It feels forced and actually adversely impacts their productivity because they are no longer able to utilize the processes that they have built over time. With Zuper we enable businesses to run their operations using their existing expertise. They can also power their workflows with our industry-leading App Marketplace with 60+ integrations with top CRM, ERP, Accounting, Payments, and other tools, the goal is to enable and empower organizations and promote customer success.
What is Zuper's connected community?
Zuper’s connected community consists of reseller and system integrator partners, customers, the App Marketplace, our podcast audience, and our incredible Academy that will offer training on best practices. Collectively they make up the community that will ensure each one of our customers can be successful in their journey to a digital transformation.
The App Marketplace allows the Zuper platform to be flexible and customizable end-to-end. One customer recently characterized Zuper as the android of field service management. They explained that it can integrate with their organization’s tech stack, has a huge ROI, and faster time to value.
Our partnerships with a number of our 60+ premium integrations in the App Marketplace are powerful. HubSpot is not only our partner but they are also one of our investors. Zendesk has been an incredible partner for the last several years, and we work with every Zoho product in their suite. For HubSpot, Zendesk, and Zoho, Zuper is the recommended field service management platform because we are always looking at how we can integrate with the capabilities offered by each one of these large ecosystems in a way that ensures best-of-breed field service management. Recent integrations include Wisetack for consumer financing, Field Nation for the best on-demand B2B gig workforce marketplace in North America, Slack, and many other collaboration tools.
How has Zuper empowered customers?
Zuper is used by customers in 30+ countries and trusted by 1,000s of service organizations across different industry verticals. Ikea, our flagship customer has used Zuper for the last several years to manage their in-house workforce for assembly and installation. The company uses Zuper globally. In North America, Ikea customers prefer to do the assembly themselves but in some parts of the world, their customers do not want to do this. Zuper integrates with Ikea's supply chain, point of sale, and ERP systems to enable them to improve productivity and utilization of their workforce and to Uberize their customer experience.
Karcher is one of the largest providers of commercial-grade cleaning equipment, offering installation, maintenance, and repairs for those products that they sell. They require best-of-breed field service management to ensure that they're managing their in-house workforce as well as interactions with external service providers. Zuper is deployed around the globe for Karcher so they can offer the best experience to their customers, optimize their resources, and streamline the entire life cycle of work orders.
Other customers include trim, PDI Health, and Origem. Origem is the largest provider of EV motorcycles in Brazil and they are now using Zuper to manage their services and repairs and other EV infrastructure.
Pro-Vigil customer testimonial
Pro-Vigil is one of the largest security and surveillance providers in the U.S for businesses and they engage in installation, maintenance, and repairs. They are using Zuper connected with Zendesk connected with Salesforce connected with many other systems to effectively manage productivity and utilization of their workforce irrespective of where they exist.
Myles Oswald, Chief Financial Officer at Pro-Vigil:
We've experienced a significant amount of growth over the past two years but encountered some growing pains in optimizing our workflows in platform communication. Zuper really provided us an opportunity to get all of those platforms integrated, helping streamline our workflows, drive greater asset utilization, eliminate redundant field service visits, and really streamline the customer experience.
Quentin Peterson, Field Service Manager at Pro-Vigil:
My job is to manage all of our field technicians with Pro-Vigil, Field Nation, as well as authorized service providers. Zuper will give us the ability to schedule based on skill set and have a visual calendar for each technician that allows our dispatchers to accurately predict when our technicians are going to be onsite. It’s a huge plus for customers to have the comfort and confidence to know that, when their systems go down, Pro-Vigil is going to be there for them quickly.
Stacy Kamish, Accounting Manager at Pro-Vigil:
Zuper is going to be an integral piece of our business growth. It’s going to allow us to tie in all the loose ends and gain maximum visibility around everything we're putting into a customer site from labor and inventory rolling up to the fixed asset level. That's going to allow us to see in real-time what pieces and parts are on each site and aid in the field service and repair pieces. It’s going to tie all the different departments into one place.
Zuper offers a number of demonstrable benefits to any business, and we're expecting some material ROI in the wake of our field service baked into our operating plans. We anticipate anywhere from a 1.5 to a 2-point improvement in our gross margins. That estimate doesn’t even include the optimization of our fixed asset utilization which lowers storage costs and capital expenditure requirements across the organization. Holistically Zuper provided us with a path to becoming a much more well-rounded business.
Manuel Rios, Special Project Manager at Pro-Vigil:
When I'm out in the field the most important tools that I need to get the job done are a good application and laptop and good hand tools. I always want to have good software. Now I pull it all up on the phone app. I see the history of what happened in this unit and what I’m about to do. Then I save what I do so the next person who works on it is able to do it too. So it means good resources and all kinds of communication.
Amanda Harris, AR Supervisor at Pro-Vigil:
I've taken lead on the project management of our Zuper integration. We have many departments that use different systems and, whether it be the CRM or ERP system, you're looking for something to pull together all the information to be housed within one system. Zuper is able to do this for us. We presented them with some challenges we were encountering, and they were able to replicate those workflows within Zuper from beginning to end very seamlessly.
Working with Zuper has been an absolute pleasure. The team from start to finish has truly been phenomenal. The level of support, the number of customizations, and the general problem-solving of the implementation have been, bar none, the best experience that I've had with any type of implementation, whether ERP or CRM, this is hands down the best I have witnessed.
What is it like to partner with Zuper?
We have grown our partner network significantly over the last few years and now have partners all over the world working with us to transform our customers’ businesses with technology.
Lumio is an amazing Quebec-based partner. They onboarded our platform about a year ago and were very quick to ramp up on Zuper. Prior to Zuper, they were a Zoho partner offering CRM capabilities and best practices to their customers. They identified a gap in field service management and the CRM suite of capabilities that they were offering.
We collaborated with them and now they are able to offer best practices in field service management. They can integrate Zuper with any other applications that they work with and ensure that their customers are successful. There are many such examples of partners with whom we are collaborating to bring our customers success.
What are some measurable results from working with the Zuper platform?
Within 90 days of using Zuper, companies can see benefits such as a 50% reduction in time to schedule, a 3-hour savings per user per day, a 15% average increase in bookings, and a 30% average increase in revenue.
One large enterprise customer, prior to using Zuper, was spending about 15 hours a day scheduling and dispatching work orders for the next day. That time shrank to about 15 minutes a day with Zuper with dispatchers just needing to look to ensure that the automated smart dispatching applied to every possible scenario - with the option to override if needed.
All the manual effort of using Excel to manage skills and scheduling is removed and replaced by smart scheduling and dispatching based on skill set, technician availability, and any other parameters that the organization wants to configure into the system. The 15% average increase in bookings results because scheduling is now streamlined and the business can take more work.
Tell us about Zuper’s business growth.
Zuper became operational in 2018 and now handles over 600,000 jobs every month with close to 7.5 million jobs in a year. Since introducing the invoicing and payment capabilities eight months ago we have already handled 3 million plus payments and transactions. Customers in 36 countries track over 2,500 assets, add 36,555 job notes to jobs and work orders, and handle 350 million API calls.
Zuper has received over $25 million in investments in the last year from some of the largest global investors, and we have grown our business to 10x in the last 18 months. Zuper investors include lead investors Fuse Venture Partners and Sequoia Capital. We're very proud of our association with Prime Ventures and Hubspot Ventures, the latter functioning as a strategic investor. HubSpot invested in us because of the complementary value that we add to the community and their ecosystem, a reason why we are attracting many other such strategic investors.
There are many industries that we serve, from residential to commercial services, manufacturing organizations, and also renewable energy industries, like solar and EV solutions globally.
To tell you more about Zuper, we started the company in 2016 and were operational in 2018. I am super proud of the founding team, which offers complimentary skill sets. We also have a strong Executive leadership team and we are proud of them. I would also like to talk about our amazing investors, FUSE Venture Partners, Sequoia Capital, Prime Ventures, and HubSpot Ventures.
What is Zuper’s product roadmap for the future?
We’ve surveyed current and prospective customers to get their perspectives on required features and capabilities. We are also always striving to innovate in a highly competitive market with the goal of differentiating from existing solutions. These have been the driving forces behind our product roadmap.
There are several areas where we are going to invest heavily in the next 6 to 12 months: 1) complex project management for longer-term projects, 2) service digital catalog for compiling information, data, and insights, 3) autonomous field service management for next-level automation capabilities, 4) mobile and web applications 2.0 for even greater flexibility and customizability, and 5) Fintech for B2B payments to contractors and vendors. This year we have added over 300 features to Zuper.
How has field service evolved?
Although they originally thought field service an unnecessary afterthought, companies have come to recognize it is a significant revenue generator and something with a significant impact on customer satisfaction, retention, and future sales. Research has shown that field service often contributes 25% or more to overall corporate revenue and 50% or more to corporate profit. Field service has become an integral and strategic part of operations for most companies today.
Field service used to be largely oriented towards reactive break/fix services. However, many organizations are shifting to predictive and proactive services: identifying in advance when something is likely to break or require service so that action is taken proactively rather than waiting for the customer to request help.
Organizations are also very interested in moving toward outcome-based service contracts. This means that they’re not just guaranteeing that the technician will be on-site to fix the problem quickly or anticipating a problem that may develop through the use of AI but they are actually guaranteeing that the customer gets a certain level of performance in their business.
What is the future of field service?
Zuper promotes the concept of completed service work. This means that the service you're providing is not done until you anticipate the customer's next need or concern and address it in advance.
For example, if you’re a landscaper taking care of a residential irrigation system, a completed service step would be to suggest to the customer that if they adjust their watering schedule down by a day or two the plants that they’re irrigating would have sufficient water to thrive while saving money and water usage. Or if you're a field service engineer doing preventive maintenance on a CNC-controlled lathe machine in a manufacturing facility, after you're done you suggest a certain in proactive safety precaution that could perhaps save the operator from a catastrophic accident down the road.
The Zuper product enables organizations to have completed service work as part of their processes, part of their philosophies, and cultures. We are launching a website shortly called www.completedservicework.com in which we will feature stories about completed service work successes and failures. We will have expert commentary and forums. On the Zuper website under resources —> podcasts you will find a very detailed podcast about completed service work.
In all that we do as an organization, we want to embed the philosophy of completed service work. We plan to share best practices of completed service work so that for the entire community and in all interactions with our customers we promote this concept. We are analyzing the capabilities of the Zuper platform to ensure that our businesses follow the best practices of completed service work when they're offering services to their customers.
Zuper Partner Connect
Zuper Partner Connect 2022 bought together industry leaders and field service experts to share best practices, strategies, and field service trends that drive business growth and success.